When you hear the words cherry blossom, what comes into your imagination in a moment?
I guess it reminds you of Japan!
Yes, the cherry blossom is such an iconic flower of Japan that it is entwined with the culture and tradition of our beloved homeland.
With the arrival of spring, every nook and corner of Japan is adorned with these beautiful pink blooms, spreading the aura of the season.
And we Japanese get busy welcoming this flower in a grand way by holding a number of festivals and events.
Well, it’s kind of weird, but I often face a question about this famous Japanese flower, can you eat cherry blossoms?
Don’t you think it is pretty obvious to get curious about such an elegant flower?
If you are also eager to know the answer, go through this write-up to quench your thirst.
All The Facts About Eating Cherry Blossoms
At first, we need to figure out whether cherry blossoms contain any toxic ingredients or not.
Are Cherry Blossoms Poisonous To Humans?
Cherry blossoms, popularly known as sakura in Japan, are not poisonous to humans.
However, if your pet cat or dog somehow ends up eating its stems, leaves, and thorns, it has been proved to be toxic for them.
It will cause them indigestion.
Now that we know that cherry blossoms are not poisonous to human health, then can we eat them?
Well, find your answer below.
Are Cherry Blossoms Edible?
Yes, cherry blossoms are edible. You can eat them.
They are used to prepare a wide variety of dishes, including meals, desserts, teas, etc. Their sweet, floral aroma makes them an ideal food additive.
Apart from eating them as food, you can also consume cherry blossoms for their medicinal value.
They are considered floral herbs in Japanese culture and many other countries around the world as well.
Well, by this time, we were talking about the blossoms of the cherry tree, now a question may arise in your head.
Can we eat cherry blossoms fruit?
Some cherry trees don’t grow fruits, while some others do.
Most of the cherries grown in the wild are safe to eat, but I still suggest you be extremely cautious unless you are sure about the safety.
However, its fruits taste sour if they are from an ornamental cherry tree instead of a sweet cherry tree grown for agricultural purposes.
On the other hand, weeping or ornamental cherry trees are mainly bred for their lovely blossoms. These trees produce fruits, but they are too sour for humans to eat.
A weeping cherry tree is a variety of ornamental cherry trees that develops pendulous weeping branches with clusters of white or pink flowers.
Anyway, these cherry trees attract wild birds, and they love to eat the fruits.
I hope you got your answer.
Let me mention an important fact about the blossoms now.
Not all cherry blossom species are edible. Some are eatable, and some are not.
Let’s know which one we can take.
Types of Edible Cherry Blossoms
While you can eat most of the cherry blossoms, there are some that have a poisonous and harmful effects.
The cherry blossom species named Prunus lauraceous is not edible. Besides, the species of Prunus serrulata cause indigestion in the human body. And the result is deadly when consumed by dogs or cats.
However, the Yoshino cherry trees or sakura that are commonly found everywhere in Japan are edible.
Its pink petals are so alluring that some people want to eat them. And that’s the reason why the petals of sakura blossoms are added to different dessert items.
Anyway, I want to let you know that as long as you are buying cherry blossoms from a reliable food distributor or grocery store, you won’t face any problems.
Suppose you have bought cherry blossoms. Now how will you eat them?
How Are Cherry Blossoms Eaten?
You will get cherry blossom flowers or leaves in the supermarkets of Japan in the season.
Oshima cherry blossom is the preferred variety for cooking as they are soft enough.
There are various ways to consume cherry blossom. You can take it just by mixing it into the regular food or drink.
Here I am going to share the most common ways to eat sakura cherry blossoms.
1. Sakura Mochi
Mochi is a Japanese rice cake that is actually nothing more than sticky rice. It is prepared by crushing the rice in a giant mallet. If you add some Sakura petals with it, it will be sakura mochi.
For aesthetic purposes, sakura mochi is often wrapped with sakura leaf, which is also edible, as I said earlier.
2. Sakura Daifuku
You can simply make sakura daifuku by stuffing sweet azuki bean paste in Sakura mochi.
3. Sakura Wagashi
Wagashi is a generic term that is used to describe traditional Japanese desserts.
When making wagashi, we always prioritize the seasonal theme. And that’s why sakura wagashi are served at restaurants, tea houses, and temples in spring.
4. Sakura Tea
Sakura tea or cherry blossom tea is made by dipping pickled cherry blossoms with boiled water.
You can also prepare it using dried sakura leaves with Japanese green tea sencha.
You may think that this tea tastes so good, but actually, it tastes salty and sour with an after-taste of apricot and almond.
Then why do Japanese people want to consume this tea?
Well, we drink sakura tea considering its benefits.
If you don’t want to look older so quickly, drink sakura tea. It will slow down aging by preventing lines, wrinkles, and skin dullness.
Dip some sakura petals in hot water and drink it. This combination becomes a type of herbal tea.
It is the most hassle-free way to consume sakura apart from eating them directly.
Besides Japan, this sakurayu is enjoyed in many East Asian countries for many generations.
6. Hanami Dango
Hanami dango is a dessert where a stick is inserted into three Japanese rice dumplings of different flavors.One is sakura favored, one is unflavored, and the rest is flavored with matcha or yomogi.
The three dumplings are pink, white and green in color, where the pink and white dumplings are made of sweetened rice flour, and the green one is mixed with yomogi grass.
Hanami dango tastes like a sweet chewy sticky rice ball.
7. Sakura Kuzumochi
It is one type of mochi made with starch from a Japanese kudzu plant. Kuzumochi has very little flavor on its own.
So, we add sakura with it to enjoy another flavor in spring. This two are a great match for that.
8. Sakura Macarons
You might think that how come a western dessert gets mixed up with Japanese sakura.
Yes, we always love to add seasonal flavor to our foods, and sakura macarons are the result of that.
9. Cherry Blossom Syrup
You can also make syrup from cherry blossoms and then use it to prepare some other dishes like rice pancakes.
The cherry blossom syrup recipe is so simple.
Take a heatproof bowl and place the blossoms in it. Pour boiling water and cover it for 2 to 4 hours. Strain the liquid off the cherry blossoms. Then put some brown sugar on a pan and mix the juice into it.
Heat it at a low temperature and keep stirring until it dissolves. Store it in a sterilized jar. Now, your syrup is ready to be used with food.
Well, these are the possible ways of eating cherry blossoms. However, when we take food, we always consider its nutritional values.
Then what about the cherry blossom? Does it have any advantages?
Let’s find it out.
Nutritional Benefits To Cherry Blossoms
Cherry blossom increases the immunity inside your body. Besides, It also helps in reducing blood pressure and cholesterols.
And if you consume cherry blossom, you can avoid diabetes.
The sweet scent of sakura prevents insomnia and even helps to relieve stress.
This is not the end. Besides health benefits, it is also helpful in retaining your beauty.
Cherry blossom is full of antioxidants that fight the dirt and pollutants, which are responsible for the sign of aging.
So, it can repair damaged skin and hyperpigmentation.
Moreover, many cosmetic creams use the sakura flower extract due to its anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties.
Apart from these, you can use a sakura bath bomb, which is popular for its unique smell.
On top of that, these flowers are high in fatty acids. You can use its paste directly or by mixing it into a topical solution to moisturize your skin.
It also works well against dark spots and scarring.
Some cherry blossom products are so rare that they are only available when the cherry trees bloom in Japan.
I think I have covered all the related aspects of eating cherry blossoms.
Well, if you are still curious about some other facts, such as sakura cherry blossom wagyu, I am here to answer all these questions.
Maybe you have come across this term and now wondering about Sakura Wagyu Farms.
What Is Sakura Cherry Blossom Wagyu?
Actually, it is just the name of the farm, named to show respect to the famous wagyu beef, which is considered Japanese heritage.
And the beef itself is not infused with any cherry blossom.
I have nothing more to inform you. Let’s wrap up this write-up here.
Can you eat cherry blossoms?
Now you know the answer to this question, and of course, in an elaborate way. Right?
I hope you will relish at least a few sakura dishes to satisfy your taste bud while visiting Japan.